Dallas-based Meeting Professionals International has partnered with Mexico’s President Vicente Fox in a joint effort to increase the country's market share as a meeting destination. Fox met with MPI President and CEO Edwin L. Griffin Jr., CAE, last week at Los Pinos, Fox's official residence, to address the next steps for this historic partnership.

Items of discussion included Mexico's opportunity to capture meeting business that was postponed after September 11. Mexican government tourism officials are pursuing Fortune 500 companies and other U.S.-based and international organizations and associations that still may be seeking alternative locations for meetings originally scheduled for overseas.

Key components of the plan to bolster Mexico's meeting industry are safety and security. The Mexican government has increased the level of security in convention areas, and is launching a public awareness campaign to promote Mexico as a safe destination. Fox also is supporting legislation under consideration by Mexico’s congress that would make meetings in the country tax exempt.

"President Fox is completely attuned to the power of meetings and is taking aggressive steps to enhance growth in Mexico's tourism and meeting market through legislative action, engagement of the hospitality community, public awareness campaigns, and a partnership with MPI," said Griffin.

Fox promised MPI his support of MPI's two-year-old Mexico City Chapter, which aims to increase its membership from 125 to 1,000 people. As MPI's membership expands into Latin America, Fox encouraged MPI to open a global office in Mexico City to better serve the needs of meeting professionals throughout Latin America and increase the region's visibility in the world meeting market.